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Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 04/11/2014

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Lobular Carcinoma In Situ

Introduction
Treatment Option Overview
Treatment Options for Patients With LCIS
Current Clinical Trials



Introduction

The term lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is misleading. This lesion is more appropriately termed lobular neoplasia. Strictly speaking, it is not known to be a premalignant lesion, but rather a marker that identifies women at an increased risk for subsequent development of invasive breast cancer. This risk remains elevated even beyond 2 decades, and most of the subsequent cancers are ductal rather than lobular. LCIS is usually multicentric and is frequently bilateral. In a large, prospective series from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) with a 12-year follow-up of 182 women with LCIS that was managed with excisional biopsy alone, 26 women developed ipsilateral breast tumors (9 of the tumors were invasive).[1] In addition, 14 women developed contralateral breast tumors (10 of the tumors were invasive).

Treatment Option Overview

Most women with LCIS have disease that can be managed without additional local therapy after biopsy. No evidence is available that re-excision to obtain clear margins is required. The use of tamoxifen has decreased the risk of developing breast cancer in women with LCIS and should be considered in the routine management of these women.[2] The NSABP-P-1 trial of 13,388 high-risk women comparing tamoxifen to placebo demonstrated an overall 49% decrease in invasive breast cancer, with a mean follow-up of 47.7 months.[2] Risk was reduced by 56% in the subset of 826 women with a history of LCIS, and the average annual hazard rate for invasive cancer fell from 12.99 per 1,000 women to 5.69 per 1,000 women. In women older than 50 years, this benefit was accompanied by an annual incidence of 1 to 2 per 1,000 women of endometrial cancer and thrombotic events. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Breast Cancer Prevention for more information.)

Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy is sometimes considered an alternative approach for women at high risk for breast cancer. Many breast surgeons, however, now consider this to be an overly aggressive approach. Axillary lymph node dissection is not necessary in the management of LCIS.

Treatment Options for Patients With LCIS
  1. Observation after diagnostic biopsy.

  2. Tamoxifen to decrease the incidence of subsequent breast cancers.

  3. Breast cancer prevention trials, including the National Cancer Institute of Canada's trial (CAN-NCIC-MAP3 [NCT00083174]), for example.

  4. Bilateral prophylactic total mastectomy, without axillary node dissection.

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with lobular breast carcinoma in situ. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

References
  1. Fisher ER, Land SR, Fisher B, et al.: Pathologic findings from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project: twelve-year observations concerning lobular carcinoma in situ. Cancer 100 (2): 238-44, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  2. Fisher B, Costantino JP, Wickerham DL, et al.: Tamoxifen for prevention of breast cancer: report of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project P-1 Study. J Natl Cancer Inst 90 (18): 1371-88, 1998.  [PUBMED Abstract]